In a continuing series, I bring you more news on the site's progression to the new Geeklog engine. Here's what's new, changed, or different today:
We've noticed an issue with "special" characters in stories, comments, and usernames imported from the old database. This is primarily an issue in words with accented e's, e.g. Exposť, as you can see in the title to this hint ... but it will happen to any accented character we had in the system at the time of the upgrade.
For users with accented characters in their username, this means they cannot login at the moment. We're working on the problem, and will probably have to go offline for a bit later today to resolve it. I apologize for the troubles; the export and import routine worked perfectly in testing, but something snuck in (of course) when we did the live update.
On the (minor) good news front, I have fixed the comment layout so that lines are no longer hard wrapped...
Site news -- great new feature and a general update...
May 30, '06 03:04:00PM • Contributed by: robg
Some of you may have noticed that the site was down for the last 10 minutes or so. I hate taking it offline, but I had to do so to correct the issue we had with historical comments. So as of now, here's an updated status report on the site upgrade...
First and foremost, I am pleased to announce that Mac OS X Hints now has ... an official new comments RSS feed! Just point your favorite RSS reader to this URL:
You'll see the 30 newest comments on the site, with a link to the original article along with the comment's text. This has been near the top of my wish list for a very long time, and now it's here. A big thank you to Michael Jervis of the Geeklog team for creating this feature in literally a few hours. You see, he saw a poor half-hearted attempt I made at the feature, and took it upon himself to build and release a Geeklog plug-in to handle the task. Thank you, Michael! This will make it much easier for all of us to keep up with the comments on the hints published here. It's still a bit tricky to find the comment itself when visiting the site, but I'm working on at least a partial solution for that as well.
In the less exciting but still interesting department, here's what else has changed recently:
As promised, I've been working on themes, and now, the first one is ready. For all those who preferred the old "blue and orange" look, it's (more or less) back, as seen in the small screenshot at right. While this isn't quite identical to the old standard theme, it's fairly close, differing only in font selections and the design of the sideboxes.
To change your default theme, login to your account and go to the Preferences screen. Set the Theme pop-up to Classic, then click Save Information. Only registered users can change their theme (but registration is free and easy if you prefer the blue look).
I'm not sure this theme is 100% done -- I threw it together pretty quickly in order to get it online fast. So if you notice something wrong on a given page, please send me an email (do not comment here about it; the odds are low that I'll see everything that way). There's a Contact Us link at the bottom of each page; click that and send me a message, including which page had the problem, and a description of what seems wrong.
More themes are coming in the near future...
After a complex, but well-planned (and thoroughly backed up!) upgrade process, macosxhints is back online. As noted in the pre-upgrade notice, we presently have but one theme, though I plan to add others in the relatively near future. We're still powered by Geeklog, but instead of running a, um, er, somewhat older version, we're now up on the latest release. From a reader's perspective, this means you have access to a few new or updated features. The following are available to everyone, regardless of whether you login here or not:
Thanks for bearing with us through the downtime -- and please, if you find something that's broken, or looks completely wrong, or whatever, let us know. Use the Contact Us link at the bottom of each page, and just make sure you include the URL and/or a description of what you found.
Macosxhints will be going offline Friday, May 26th, around 1PM Pacific time. We are (finally) upgrading to the latest Geeklog release. This is a somewhat large project, with some complex data migration to be done, and we want to make sure we do it right. As such, the downtime may be substantial -- anywhere from two to five hours -- or possibly more if things go more slowly than we expect.
When we return, you'll be seeing a new look for the site. I'd love to tell you that it's a new pro theme designed by one of the world's best designers...but I'm really not a good liar :). For some of you, it will look similar to what you already see here, as I modified an existing theme from the current site. For others, though, especially those who don't login, the new look will be notably different. As with many things I do on the site, I expect some will like it, many won't care, and a very vocal group will thoroughly hate it :). I have plans to bring other themes (to match the ones we currently have) online shortly, but as of the re-launch, we'll have just one look available. I just haven't had the time to work on the other themes yet.
After the new system is online, if you find something broken, please let us know (there's a contact link in the footer of every page). There are some new features, which I'll summarize in a post once we get back online, but mostly, things will work as they have before...
Given that the iTunes Music Store recently celebrated its third anniversary (April 28, 2003 launch date), I've posted a new poll to find out just how often we all purchase from the store. I realize that the store isn't available in all countries, and that it hasn't been available anywhere other than the USA for the full three years, but I still thought it might be interesting to see just how much music we've all been buying.
If you say "I don't know; I deleted the Apple-provided Purchased Song playlist," well, you can use this hint to create a new one. It's just a Smart Playlist that will show all your purchase activity (based on matching Protected AAC songs). That's why I left "I don't know" off the poll as a valid response.
And if you happen to be off the top of the charts, and feel like sharing, feel free to add your actual unit purchase quantity in the comments. I admit to a strange curiosity about who may be the "most addicted purchaser" amongst the community. I'm pretty sure it's not me, with 454 songs in three years (which is about seven CDs a year, which is roughly how often I used to buy actual CDs).
OK, so it's my first day back, and we're still having a bit of a challenge figuring out the "two kids" schedule ... so there are but two hints here this morning. There will be more a bit later today, though, so check back in after 11:00am Pacific time or so.
I think we've got things figured out moving forward, so Tuesday and beyond should be back to the normal morning update schedule.
And thanks again to Kirk for even making it possible for me to be gone for two weeks straight. It was great getting to spend time with the new one without having to worry about the daily hints update. It's nice to be back to the daily routine, though -- even if that routine is still far from routine! :).
So my time is up here. It's been an interesting two weeks replacing Rob, and I hope I haven't let you down and have provided some interesting hints. Rob will be back at work on Monday, so it's back to normal, as I head off into the sunset until the next baby, perhaps... :-)
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